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Everything posted by luckyfincruiser

  1. In what areas does this company operate? Sounds like some positive reviews!
  2. Our next cruise says online checkin will start on Sept 19. Do you know what time of day it becomes available? Right at midnight? You got a great arrival time so I’m curious what time you did online checkin! Thanks
  3. Thanks so much for all of this information. I really appreciate it!
  4. Hi All - I have been combing through posts on this forum and also online. I think I am more confused than before I started...especially because some posts and advice are pre- vs post- covid. Where is the best place to gather the basics on what insurance options are ideal for 46 and 47 year old cruisers who cruise with Royal Caribbean 2-3x per year? I have often bought the Travel Guard policy through Costco travel but in reading the FAQ there I am not sure it is best. Most important is the med evacuation , really bad stuff coverage...but I'm not sure with COVID what else we should look for. I appreciate your help!
  5. I took spa tour and they did show use of an LED light. Didn't do it...that's what I know!
  6. THis is the same wording on our concierge letter for our Aug 15 sailing but there was still the typical drinks available in the suite lounge bar from 11-11. We got beer twice during the day
  7. I would not recommend a PCR test for these purposes- the time to get back is longer and they are really for symptomatic people. And right now more people are getting tested so it uses those supplies and there’s a backlog. A rapid antigen or NAAT test are ideal and results back quick. None of us need this additional stress of waiting for results before the cruise.
  8. Just off Allure and ate at coastal kitchen each night. In fact it is one of the reasons we book suites. The food the OP mentioned is in the Classics section of the menu available each night ... not the featured five entrees of the night. The food is more freshly prepared and has more depth in my opinion...a much smaller number of dishes need to be prepared compared to main dining room. Interestingly we have always found it better than the some specialties but I feel I must now do the hard work of more comparison with specialities on our Dec cruise just to be sure 🙂
  9. You picked your time- no special time for suites… so you will be fine to choose a time for your 8:45 shuttle. there was no luggage valet
  10. What terrible timing!!!! Sorry you missed it but hope you’re well and able to cruise again soon.
  11. Ours wasn't a vaccinated only cruise on 8/15 Don't know if all are going forward
  12. didn't see it any more reduced up there than previous cruises...there were a number of Pins that opted to stay in suites this time too
  13. Specialty restaurants/Night life This was the part of the cruise that was sometimes eerie and was not the same. The specialty restaurants were quite empty. There were times we walked by Giovanni’s for example and so no one in there. They even sent some of their staff from there up to Coastal Kitchen to help out. The pub rarely had more than a dozen people when we would often have to work hard to find seats on previous cruises. Dazzles had weird distancing in place so not many seats there. The Schooner bar was never packed- how odd is that?! They also didn’t have the trivia in there. In the evening, there was not as much energy as I like as we walk around – this isn’t really a complaint as I was glad to be there every minute of the cruise. But it felt much more sleepy. We were at the NextCruise desk and even they commented how quiet it was on the promenade. This isn’t unexpected given the number of guests but I will appreciate when capacity increases and those elevators are full again! The pub at 9pm one night! Live music in Central Park Shows We attended the comedy show (fantastic!), and the Ventriloquist act in the Amber theater (had seen him before. We did not attend Mama Mia as we both fell asleep while attending it on the last cruise (don’t judge us!! LOL!) They also had the Aqua Theater show for the first time back on our sailing. We watched them practice one afternoon and then attended on Day 7. It was not full. You had to make reservations but it was not full that night and people just walked up. Also there was no suite reserved seating…not a complaint…just letting you know. As it gets more busy, I imagine they will bring that back. Live music We enjoyed live music in the Schooner Bar, Jazz on 4, Boleros, Central Park, Dazzles and on the Promenade. It was enjoyable to wander and find a spot with live music. We very much appreciated what they called V lounges – vaccinated only venues where we could take mask off! Hurricane Dodging Hurricane Grace hit Cozumel the day we were supposed to be there so we skipped that port and sailed behind Grace. There were some rolling seas that morning but we enjoyed time on the walking track and in the Solarium. It didn't really rain...just cloudy and wavy. And the sun was back by late afternoon. A great job by the captain and Jim Van Fleet! First time in a Loft Suite We typically stay in Grand Suites and a Loft suite was on my bucket list. We scooped up one that randomly showed up online for this cruise for a great price. The view is AMAZING! I loved that. The loft suites typically cost more than the grand suites so I don't think it would be worth it to me every time. Deck 17 is far away from everything except the SL and CK and as I mentioned we take the stairs, that meant long walks back to the room. We typically stay on Deck 12 which is a sweet spot for us to SL and the rest of the ship. The shower upstairs in the Loft suite was awesome but there was only one sink - total first world problems...but just my thoughts about the suite... comparing to our other experiences. If I get a good deal, I would definitely do a Loft suite again...but I don't need one and love my Grand suites. Masking while on board I’m not going to lie- I hated having to mask. We are mainly stairs people on a cruise and this cruise we were on deck 17. Holy crap – climbing 13 decks wearing a mask was NO fun! There were so few people that we often could go most decks without seeing a person- so we would at least pull mask down. Now the plus on this cruise was if we didn’t want to take the stairs, getting an elevator never took longer than 30 seconds!!! I sincerely hope the masking is done when we cruise again in December. I did what I had to do because I really wanted to cruise but I don’t want to have to do it again honestly. Disembarkation Disembarkation WAS different. There was no guided exit for suite guests. When I first heard that I wasn’t happy. However, they asked our preferred time to disembark and that was the time we got. For us it was 9:15 as we had a 2:00 flight out of MCO. So we ate breakfast in the windjammer, went back to the room to shower and do the final pack up and watched for our group on the room TV. No gathering in a public place- just wait in your room. They were ahead of schedule so we got called around 8:55 and walked down to promenade and walked off the ship. No line waiting- went directly to passport control – facial recognition done immediately and then got our bags. The hall was SO empty compared to usual. It took minutes for all of this. I had arranged transport with Cortrans who I used last time we were at Port Canaveral. I HIGHLY recommend them and they also could use the support!! Good communication, great price, very reliable and a totally relaxing and comfortable ride to the airport. They only had 5 of us on the shuttle. Final Thoughts This cruise was more the same as usual than it was different. I ate a lot, laughed a lot, enjoyed beautiful sunsets over the sea with a drink in hand and smiled more than I have in a long time! If you are vehemently against some of the requirements I mentioned, you may want to hold off. If you love cruising like I do, it is worth it- to support the crew and RC! It felt totally SAFE, clean and organized. A friend asked this week how my trip was and my answer to her seems like a good parting thought: You know I love traveling and cruising and I felt pure joy being able to do it again. That really does sum it up…and I can’t wait to do it again in December on Symphony! Thanks for reading and I hope I gave you a good overview!
  14. Yes to all of this- same experience on 8/15 sailing. say hi to Dexter!! Such a great concierge.
  15. We were in Allure on 8/15 sailing. Did a NAAT test at Walgreens on Thursday morning before we left for airport in NY. Got results back in about an hour. (and it can be anytime Thursday- at the port they check for name, date and negative)
  16. This seemed to be the case on our allure cruise last week. We couldn’t sit at suite lounge bar but it isn’t vax only. I missed being able to do that
  17. Not everyone on our sailing was vaccinated. Only the Eastern Caribbean sailings had that stipulation added.
  18. Suite Lounge/Coastal Kitchen (I've seen several people waiting for this one!) 😀 We typically stay in suites just because we love the suites and the suite lounge so we of course wanted to compare our previous experiences to this time. Interestingly while the ship was at such low capacity, the suites were almost all full. I believe we were told that only two suites were unoccupied. So the suite lounge was really hopping to say the least. Nothing changed as far as bar service, suite lounge appetizers (except they are served to you). They did wipe down each table in the lounge in between guests. Bar service was great as usual and there were many servers in the lounge. We enjoy the pre dinner cocktails every night in the suite lounge and it was as it was before. There was only one concierge instead of two (Dexter is awesome!) and it is hard to believe Royal would book all the suites and yet cut back to only one concierge. We got drinks during the day from 11-11 as it has previously been. Bottled water and beer were no problem. Coastal Kitchen is our preferred place for dinner each night when staying in a suite. It was very busy compared to the rest of the ship. There were a few times we had to wait for a table even though we had a standing 6:30 reservation. The food was excellent as usual! The servers were friendly. I took no pictures of the suite lounge! I guess I was enjoying my drinks and food! Let me know if you have any specific questions. More to come about night life, live music, shows and masking experience...
  19. Unvaccinated needed to book a ship excursion. We booked our own non-ship excursion.
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